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As the year draws to a close, it’s appropriate that we take some time for reflection on what happened in the AR VR space both global, and closer to home in Ireland. For evangelists 2016 was certainly a year that led to a sense of validation of the potential that AR and VR have. A number of really high profile launches such as the Pokemon Go phenomenon in July, and the more recent launch of Sony Playstation VR have built huge media and general public enthusiasm for AR and VR respectively. Hololens finally shipped its developer edition to critical acclaim, and Oculus and HTC greatly refined their consumer market offering. The year end is also an appropriate time too for a more sanguine reflection on how the technologies are being adopted. A recent report from Greenlight Research outlined the challenges remaining to the more widespread adoption, with VR remaining in what the report terms an ‘inflexion zone’ for the next five years. Some have also cautioned that the early iterations of VR experiences have the potential to lead to an untimely desertion of the tech by the public. However, we at ARVR Innovate think that, whatever the speed of adoption, a clear tipping point has been passed with these technologies that will mean they are not to meet the fate of 3D cinema and television.

 

In Ireland the vibrant start-up scene of the fintech and medtech sectors has not been reflected in similar expansion in the AR VR space, but in Immersive VR Education and 3D4Medical we have a couple of companies that made international waves in the education and medical sectors respectively, with the latter’s technology straddling both. We are beginning to see the emergence of what might be called a micro-eco system in AR and VR– kudos to the organisers of the 3D Camp Dublin for their monthly events which have offered a platform. And of course we like to think that the ARVR Innovate conference and expo plays its part; this year’s event was a huge success with a record attendance from 10 countries; so much so that we’re moving venue to facilitate even more opportunity for delegates to try the latest innovations in AR and VR on May 11th next—stay tuned as they say for more information very shortly.